Welcome to the Publisher Spotlight American Library Association 2021 Annual Conference Showcase! From author interviews to digital downloads, and free resources to themed booktalks, you’ll discover a range of resources for new books and audiobooks sure to enlighten and engage your readers.

Interviews with Authors and Narrators    |    Thematic Booktalks    |    USBBY Program: Innovative International Publishing
Read It NOW! Digital ARCs    |    Listen NOW! All About Audio    |    Resources    |    Gift Basket Register to Win!
Staff Picks    |    Publishers in the Spotlight

Meet the Author! Request a copy

Get to know these authors and publishers, pick your favorite, and even request a physical copy! Please note that quantities are limited.

Marissa Moss
Boardwalk Babies
(Creston Books)

Award-winning author Marissa Moss shines the light on another fascinating and little-known moment in history. Dr. Courney combined scientific ingenuity with innovative showmanship as he showed the public tiny newborns as part of a display to convince the public that incubators worked.

Register here for an opportunity to win a signed copy of Boardwalk Babies.

Daniel Gray Barnett
The Pocket Chaotic
(Cicada Books)
“When his messy, crowded environment becomes too chaotic, a young kangaroo reaches a tipping point…Amusing illustrations, rendered with fluid, black brush strokes and a snappy, eye-catching, orange-dominated palette, effectively capture all the turmoil, unrest, and chaos of Alexander’s life in Mum’s bulging pouch. Double-page spreads of Alexander fruitlessly wrangling an endless array of diverse objects present a convincing argument for his eventual progression from pouch into the next phase of his young life. A humorous invitation to embrace change and move on.”—Kirkus

Register here for an opportunity to win a copy of The Pocket Chaotic.

Joseph Belisle
What If Wilhelmina
(Blair Publishing)

An author/illustrator tells a story drawn from his real-life family as his daughter worries about her cat’s ability to escape into the outdoors. Her two dads reassure her and help her express her love for art.

Register here for an opportunity to win a copy of What If Wilhelmina.

Kathryn Otoshi
Lunch Every Day
(KO Kids Books)

A boy takes another kid’s lunch when unexpected kindness turns his life around. Based on a true story. (Ages 4-8)

Register here for an opportunity to win a limited edition F&G of Lunch Every Day.

Uijung Kim
Underground *Featured on the Texas 2×2 List!*
(Cicada Books)

Subway systems around the world are revealed through enthralling illustrations and fascinating facts in this picture book that kids will want to return to again and again. (Ages 4-10)

Register here for an opportunity to win a free copy of Underground.

Mickael El Fathi
Science and Me Inspired by the Discoveries of Nobel Prize Laureates in Physics, Chemistry and Medicine
(Lantana Publishing)
Thirteen laureates are profiled in this follow-up to the acclaimed Peace and Me, again featuring the detailed and fascinating work of illustrator Mickael El Fathi. Learn about his process, his passion for patterns, and more in this Publisher Spotlight exclusive interview. (Ages 4-8)

Register here for an opportunity to win a limited edition F&G of Science and Me.

James Otis Smith
Black Heroes of the Wild West
(TOON Graphics)

This graphic nonfiction celebrates the extraordinary true tales of three black heroes who took control of their destinies and stood up for their communities in the Old West. “While American popular culture would have us believe that white men ruled the Wild West, Smith’s stellar debut deftly proves otherwise.”—Booklist (starred review)

Register here for an opportunity to win a free copy of Black Heroes of the Wild West.

Shobha Viswanath
A Tangle of Brungles
(Karadi Tales)

Shobha Viswanath reads her picture book, A Tangle of Brungles.
A trio of witches brew up the perfect suitor in this mischievous tale filled with creative collectives in this special storytime with the author.

Check out our Pinterest Board!

25 publishers * 14 themed sub-boards * 900 pins

Pinterest ALA Annual 2021

Thematic booktalks

Overlooked and Underloved

Get a second chance to see the books you may have missed during the pandemic from more than 20 publishers in this retro Book Buzz:

You want to see what’s new, too! Check out these short takes on new books for young children (board books and picture books for up to age 8) and older kids and teens (8 and up). Also includes graphic novels and audiobooks!

Fall Books for Younger Readers

Fall Books for Older Readers


Find books from these and other international publishers in our ALA Annual pinterest board!

Read it now! Digital Downloads

My Monster Moofy
My Monster Moofy
By Annie Watson, illustrated by Eric Zelz
(Tilbury House)

“The cleverly over-the-top text utilizes a variety of literary devices to describe Moofy’s colorful life and personality, organically and effectively introducing young children to concepts like metaphor, simile, alliteration, allusion, hyperbole, and rhyme. The protagonist is endearing, and their affectionate perspective renders Moofy’s antics delightful to behold.”—Starred Review, Kirkus (Grades K-3)

Read now

The Encyclopedia of Ordinary Things
The Encyclopedia of Ordinary Things
By Stepánka Stepaninová
Illustrated by Eva Chupiková
(Albatros Media)

Who said ordinariness is boring? This book shows ordinary things, along with their origins and inventors, in a new light. (Ages 7-10)

Read now

Dulcinea in the Forbidden Forest
Dulcinea in the Forbidden Forest
By Ole Könnecke
(Gecko Press)
Dulcinea has been forbidden since she was small to enter the dangerous magic forest where the witch has her castle. But her father hasn’t come home from collecting blueberries for her birthday pancakes. Did the witch cast a spell on him? Dulcinea must brave the dark forest and sneak into the witch’s castle to steal the spell book and free him. Her father would hardly have named her after the brave Dulcinea if she couldn’t break a witch’s spell to celebrate her birthday with him! (Ages 5-8)

Read now

Little Dolphin Rescue
Little Dolphin Rescue
By Rachel Delahaye
(Tiger Tales)

What starts out as a swimming lesson with her friends ends up becoming the adventure of a lifetime when Callie is magically whisked away to the Indian Ocean where she finds a young dolphin in trouble! Ages 6-9

Read now

Velda, the Awesomest Viking
Velda, the Awesomest Viking
by David McPhail, illustrated by Richard Morgan
(Floris Books)

Velda is a small girl with a big axe. The only problem is, everyone thinks she can’t be a proper Viking because she’s “just a little girl”. PURLEASE! She sets sail with Freya, captain of the dragonship Valkyrie, and her notoriously ferocious crew for a life of awesome adventure (and very loud belching). Ages 7-10

Read now

The Storm Leopards
The Storm Leopards
By Holly Webb
(Tiger Tales)
The countdown to Christmas has begun, and Isabelle is enjoying a family day out at the zoo. As her sister watches the penguins, Isabelle is the only one to catch a glimpse of a snow leopard, with its beautiful spotted silver-grey coat and long fluffy tail. Fascinated by these rare and endangered creatures, Isabelle tries to find out what she can do to help protect them. Little does she know she’s about to be whisked into her very own magical snow leopard adventure, where a mother and her cubs are in danger. Ages 7-10

Read now

Casagrandes: We’re All Familia
Casagrandes: We’re All Familia

“Make way for the familia; there’s a lot of them. The Nickelodeon animated series makes a jump to join the Loud House graphic novels with the first installment of a collection of vignettes focusing on the lives of the Mexican American Casagrande family and their friends.”—Kirkus (Ages 7-12)

Read now

Magical History Tour #4: The Crusades
Magical History Tour #4: The Crusades
By Sylvain Savoia and Fabrice Erre
Modern day kids Annie and Nico go on a magical history tour back to the Middle Ages to find out what started the Crusades—and why there were so many of them. They travel to Jerusalem (where it all started) and they meet kings and popes and emperors and sultans. Along the way, Nico discovers that the Crusades weren’t just about religion and the Holy Wars weren’t just between Christians and Muslims. (Ages 8-12)

Read now

Anne of Green Gables
Anne of Green Gables
(Manga Classics)

Siblings Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert were planning to adopt an orphaned boy to help out around their farm, Green Gables–instead, they got Anne Shirley. A plucky redheaded girl with a vibrant imagination, Anne turns first Green Gables and then the rest of Prince Edward Island on its ear. The first manga adaptation authorized by the L.M. Montgomery Estate. (Ages 8-12)

Read now

The Man of the Moon
The Man of the Moon
by Bunvor Bjerre
(Inhabit Media)
Based primarily on explorer and anthropologist Knud Rasmussen’s transcriptions of oral tales, the stories in this anthology of old Greenlandic myths and legends have been passed down through generations. This collection features stories about children and young people―stories that were told in the depths of winter, that the youngest listeners would one day tell to their own children. Talking animals, flying shamans, orphans so poor they have to walk barefoot through the snow, and men so strong they can carry a whale all on their own. Ages 10 and up

Read now

Barefoot Books Water: A Deep Dive of Discovery
Barefoot Books Water: A Deep Dive of Discovery
By Christy Mihaly, illustrated by Mariona Cabassa
(Barefoot Books)

This comprehensive yet accessible exploration of water will help young readers understand many aspects of one of our planet’s most precious resources – and how they can protect it. A friendly water droplet character guides children through topics ranging from melting and freezing to the ways in which water literally shapes the Earth. Tales by storytellers from around the world are sprinkled through the book, highlighting the variety of ways in which global cultures value water. Ages 6-10

Read now

Planet Power: Explore the World's Renewable Energy
Planet Power: Explore the World’s Renewable Energy
By Stacy Clark, illustrated by Annalisa Beghelli
(Barefoot Books)

Accessible verse and lush illustrations introduce children to important information about how we can harness the planet’s natural resources including wind, water and sun. Inset boxes define new words like “turbine,” while extensive endnotes further explain the science behind each power source and the benefits of clean energy. Ages 6-10.

Read now

Listen now! All about audio

Rise: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou
Rise: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou
By Bethany Hegedus
Narrated by Cherise Boothe
(Live Oak Media)
Earphones Award from Audiofile: “This concise audio biography is a special tribute to acclaimed writer, poet, and Civil Rights activist Maya Angelou. Narrator Cherise Boothe’s beautiful, clear voice evokes Angelou’s spirit and embodies the power of the spoken word…The hardcover picture book’s full-page illustrations, with layers of color and symbolism, make a stunning accompaniment.” (Ages 7-10)
Listen now
5-Minute Really True Stories for Bedtime
5-Minute Really True Stories for Bedtime: 30 Amazing Stories: Featuring frozen frogs, King Tut’s beds, the world’s biggest sleepover, the phases of the moon, and more
Narrated by Joann Lumley
(Britannica Books)

“What better way to induce drowsiness in young pillow plumpers than short, fascinating introductions to the bedding-down behavior of creatures?”—Kirkus Reviews (Ages 5-8)

Listen now

Absolutely Everything!
Absolutely Everything!: A History of Earth, Dinosaurs, Rulers, Robots and Other Things Too Numerous to Mention
Written and read by Christopher Lloyd
What on Earth Books
“British author Christopher Lloyd brings personality and humor to the narration of his entertaining and informative history of the world from the big bang to the present day. In just over six hours, this audiobook presents a brief but vivid journey through geological time and the progression of mostly Western human civilization…Lloyd’s enthusiastic narration highlights the drama of the incredible events that shaped our world, and should spark listeners’ fascination.”—Audiofile

Listen now

Kiss and Repeat
Kiss and Repeat
Written by Heather Truett, narrated by Nick Mondelli
(Dreamscape Media)

“Stephen Luckie isn’t so lucky in love. He’s completely inexperienced when it comes to girls, and wonders if his tics – caused by Tourette’s Syndrome – are the reason…Using the scientific method drilled into him by his scientist father, Steven begins the best experiment ever–one that involves kissing as many girls as possible…But when the experiment gets underway, Stephen begins to question how he treats girls – and if his tics have been standing in his way at all. (Ages 13-17)
Listen now

Arnie Cardillo
Founder and Producer
Live Oak Media

Listen in as the producer of Odyssey-honored audiobooks including Jazz, H.O.R.S.E., We Are Grateful¸ and more talks with Francisca Goldsmith about how audiobooks can impact young listeners.

Dion Graham
Narrator and Director
Rise and The Overground Railroad

Listen in as “Voice of Choice” narrator and director Dion Graham talks about recent projects including Rise: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People and The Overground Railroad.

The Thing About BeesShabazz Larkin
The Thing About Bees
Readers to Eaters/Live Oak Media
“In a holistic–and wholly original–treatment, Larkin spins a buoyant monologue to his (actual) young sons about why bees are to be valued and how they are analogous to rambunctious children; the narrative is threaded with unconditional love for both subjects. Smart ABAB rhymes propel the narrative, while other lyrical structures offer pauses and maintain attention: “Sometimes bees can be a bit rude./They fly in your face and prance on your food…. /And worst of all, they do this thing/called sting./OUCH!”—from the School Library Journal starred review

Find audiobook reviews, resources,
and much more at Audiofile Magazine.

Read the June/July issue for free.

June July Audiofile

This year’s audiobook SYNC list for teens has now been announced!
Find the full list and instructions here to get two free downloads each week throughout the summer.
Thanks, Audiofile!

Sound Learning

Soundlearningapa.org has research and resources for audio literacy.
Find the latest research along with selection lists for each grade at https://www.audiopub.org/sound-learning.

Educator Resources
Check out all the books in our booth in thematic groups as well as by publisher on Pinterest.

Barefoot Books
Book trailer for Family Reunion:
Book Trailer for Family Reunion

Book trailer for the Slide-and-See series:
Slide and See Book Trailer

Britannica Books
The Britannica All-New Kids Encyclopedia: Activity packs and resources for each section of this best-selling kids encyclopedia. Find them here.

Britannica All-New Kids Encyclopedia

Cicada Books
Underground: Activities from the Texas Library Association (Texas 2×2)Underground

Dreamscape Media/Tilbury House
The Arabic Quilt: An Immigrant Story: a teacher’s guide created by Marcie Colleen.The Arabic Quilt: An Immigrant Story

Check out a playlist of book trailers for more than 100 Dreamscape Kids titles.

Did you know that Papercutz has educational resources for many of their books? Find them here.Check out the new catalog from graphic novel powerhouse, Papercutz here.

Explore Papercutz on teachingbooks.net, including this Fuzzy Baseball Story Map Multi-Leveled Lesson.
Fuzzy Baseball

Readers to Eaters
The Thing About Bees: A Cultural Representation Reflection by teachingbooks.net.
The Thing About BeesZora’s Zucchini: Story Map Multi Leveled lesson by teachingbooks.net.
Zora's Zucchini

Toon Books
Black Heroes of the Wild West: CCSS-aligned Guided Reading Lesson Plan.
Black Heroes of the Wild West

Kidlit TV at home

Gift Basket, register to win

REGISTER HERE to win this collection of books and audiobooks! 40 Books and Audios from 25 Publishers!

ALA 2021 gift basket
ALA Annual 2021 gift basket
ALA Annual 2021 gift basket

ALA Annual 2021 gift basket
ALA Annual 2021 gift basket

ALA 2021 gift basket
ALA 2021 gift basket

Staff Picks

Crying Is Like the Rain
Crying is Like the Rain
By Heather Hawk Feinberg, illustrated by Chamisa Kellogg
(Tilbury House)
“Crying is like the rain…and earthquakes and thunder and sunshowers and eventually a rainbow. This thoughtful book uses weather to explain the depth of our emotions in a way that young minds and hearts can comprehend. Helping children understand their emotions is a big undertaking, and Crying is Like the Rain does it beautifully, letting children know that their emotions are nothing to be ashamed of, and even providing mindfulness exercises for when feelings are like a hurricane. I enjoyed this positive spin: as they say, you can’t have the rainbow without the rain.”—Emma Sherk, Summer InternFarmer Will Allen and The Growing Table
Farmer Will Allen and The Growing Table
By Jacqueline Briggs Martin, illustrated by Shabazz Larkin, narrated by Peter Jay Fernandez
(Readers to Eaters/Live Oak Media)
“If you follow Noah Lenstra’s Let’s Move in Libraries project, then you may already know about Readers To Eaters great food literacy titles. Did you know that they are also available in Spanish…and in audiobook format (yup, both English and Spanish editions) from Live Oak Media, the publisher that consistently wins big awards for their youth recordings? One of my favorite’s is Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table because it features food (yes!), urban gardening (great and hard to find for little ones), and a basketball star taking up a new passion after retirement. All of this makes it a great crossover for outdoor programming, cross generational programming involving grandparents, and more!”—Francisca Goldsmith, Social Media Manager

Last: The Story of a White Rhino
Last: The Story of a White Rhino
By Nicola Davies
(Tiny Owl Books)
“This tale starts out with four heart-wrenching, simple words. “I am the last.” The same beautiful simplicity continues throughout the book, creating spaces for the layered, collage-style illustrations that add powerful, wordless details and feelings. And while this is a book about extinction (and humankind’s role in contributing to it), the story ends with a nod towards hope, giving readers of any age a compelling reason to dry their tears and maybe even step in to help instead of harm.”—Christina Moorehead, Publisher Liaison

By Liniers
(Toon Books)
“Toon Books continues to produce just right graphic novels for beginning readers. New this season is Liners’s third wonderful title inspired by his affection for his young daughters. Wildflowers combines nature, storytelling, sisters who really enjoy each other’s company, and heaps of colorful imagination. Make sure you take this one to outdoor storytimes as well as featuring it for summer library-visiting kids on the prowl for new kids comics.”—Francisca Goldsmith

Atlas of DogsAtlas of Dogs
By Stepanka Sekaninova, illustrated by Marcei Kralik
(Albatros Media)
“A lively illustrated collection of 200 plus dog breeds organized into groups such as terriers, retrievers, and dachshunds; each breed expanded upon with a paragraph. It includes fun facts and heroic stories along with basic information about differing dog natures. Chapters are broken up with newspaper styled excerpts entitled “Dogs’ Post Daily” which offers information about famous dogs via reports and interviews. Use the dog to human years converter to find out exactly how old your dog actually is!”—Tracy Gallagher, Special Projects Librarian

It’s Only One
It’s Only One
By Tracey Corderoy, illustrated by Tony Neal
(Tiger Tales)
“We don’t think too much about it when we see a wrapper or piece of trash on the ground. But how would we feel if every single person disposed of their trash in our parks or streets? It’s Only One brings to light the consequences that can arise when we don’t take care of our environment. If one person tosses trash to the ground, others do too. If one person picks a flower from the park, then everyone else picks them until there aren’t any left. This is the perfect story to teach little ones about how good citizenship and consideration for others can make the world a more beautiful place! It’s Only One was included on the 2021 Green Earth Book Award recommended reading list.”—Emma Schneider, Marketing Coordinator

Rosa's Workshop: Rosa’s Big Sunflower Experiment
Rosa’s Workshop: Rosa’s Big Sunflower Experiment
By Jessica Spanyol
(Child’s Play)
“This wonderful STEM-focused book sparked so many happy memories of my many years guiding my PreK and Kindergarten students as they planted sunflower seeds, discovering the beautiful science behind beautiful flowers just like Rosa and her friends. This multi-layered book serves as both a fun story and as a seed-planting and nurturing guide. I especially appreciated the use of a font designed to be inclusive of dyslexic and other differently-abled readers. A perfect addition to any STEM-focused lesson or program!”—Christina Moorehead, Publisher Liaison
Check out our interview with Jessica Spanyol.

Helping Our World Get Well: Covid Vaccines
Helping Our World Get Well: Covid Vaccines
(Blair Publishing)
>em>Helping Our World Get Well: Covid Vaccines is a helpful way to explain the importance of getting the COVID-19 vaccine to kids. Not only does this book outline why everyone who can should get the vaccine, but it reminds kids that there’s no need to be afraid. As our main character says, “It was just a tiny poke. Of all the new things I did during Covid, this may have been the tiniest of all.” This story is a great way to help young readers not be afraid of the vaccine and learn how they can help protect others!”—Alexandra Lanz, intern

Featured Publishers

Albatros Media ◆ Blair ◆ Britannica Books ◆ Child’s Play ◆ Cicada Books ◆ Creston Books ◆ Dreamscape Media ◆ Gecko Press ◆ Inhabit Media ◆ KOKids ◆ Lantana Publishing ◆ Live Oak Media ◆ Manga Classics ◆ NBM ◆ NubeOcho ◆ Papercutz ◆ Readers to Eaters ◆ Tiger Tales ◆ Tilbury House ◆ Tiny Owl Books ◆ TOON Books ◆ What on Earth Books

Thank you for visiting our American Library Association Annual Conference Showcase! We would love to hear your feedback and suggestions: ellen@publisherspotlight.com. Be sure to follow us on social media for giveaways, author and illustrator interviews, story times, themed book lists and more!

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